‘Black Phone’ director Scott Derrickson reveals a last-minute change to the end – Hollywood Reporter

[This story contains spoilers for The Black Phone.]

Making a horror film about a sadistic child killer could be a challenge in itself, but Black phone co-writer and director Scott Derrickson he said there was one scene that was especially difficult to perform.

At one disturbing moment, Terrence Blake (Jeremy Davies), an alcoholic father of a missing child Finney (Mason Thames), whips his daughter Gwen (Madeleine McGraw).

“It was probably the one that made me feel the most nervous,” Derrickson says Hollywood Reporter. “I chose the kitchen I chose because it had a long counter. I realized that with a scene like that, one could very easily go too far, and the audience could turn on the film. I wanted it to upset and upset them, but I didn’t want them to get involved. ”

So Derrickson decided to soften the moment in the film.

I thought, ‘I don’t want to see this kid really hit.’ So the first shot happens off-screen, ”says Derrickson. “She’s under the counter, and it’s more his anger that upsets him. And then her really emotional performance, most of it happens when she retires and has this long showdown with him. He raised his belt, but never hit it again. And so it’s all worked out very specifically in the choreography. “

Moreover, says Derrickson, there was a big last-minute change that proved quite challenging. In one of the film’s final scenes, Robin (Miguel Cazarez Mora), a former victim who spoke to Finney kindly off the black phone in the film, appears as a ghost. an issue? That wasn’t the original plan – and the young actor playing Robin has already flown home.

“In the script, Robin was not in the room. It was just a phone call, ”explains Derrickson. “A day or two before we filmed it … it suddenly hit me out of nowhere. I thought, ‘Oh, the audience wants to see that kid again. We need to see him again. It won’t be good if we don’t see him again. ‘ I wondered, ‘Where’s that kid?’ and they were like, ‘We just drove him home.’ I thought, ‘Bring him back. You have to bring him back. ‘”

In the morning when the scene was supposed to be filmed, Derrickson did not block how it would go. He found himself standing alone on the set, coming up with the idea of ​​Robin and Finney meeting face to face.

“In the end, I do it all in one shot,” says Derrickson, who believes it’s one of the film’s best moments. “I think a good director always has an antenna up trying to hear what this film actually wants to be. If you do, sometimes you can make decisions that are bigger than you. ”

Derrickson says that when he and C. Robert Cargill wrote the screenplay, they wanted to make sure there was no common denominator why Ethan HawkeGrabber chose his victims. They were all different – some were solid, some weak, some small, some not. He is especially touched by Griffin (Banks Repeta), a boy who is bent upside down in the film.

“Although we don’t see a background for him, I’m really touched by what he said. When Finney says, ‘you’re Griffin’, he says, ‘Maybe’. And Finney says, ‘I didn’t know you,’ and he says, ‘No one did. One day no one knows your name, and then the next day you’re in all the headlines and everyone knows your name, ‘Derrickson recalls. “He represented that kind of little, invisible kid, and then Finney’s in the middle.”

The director continues: “The idea was to present a wide range from the smallest, weakest child to the strongest, strongest kid. Putting the two strongest, strongest kids on top highlighted how dangerous Grabber is, that they are unable to defend themselves or escape from his dungeon. That could happen to anyone. “

Black phone arrived in theaters this weekend, and stars both Mason Thames and James Ransone. You can read the first part THRinterview with Derrickson here.

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